Special Constables (SPCs) in Police Scotland have pledged tens of thousands of hours of volunteer work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Marking National Volunteers Week – which runs from June 1 to 7 – Police Scotland thanked the SPCs for their contribution during the coronavirus lockdown.
In March, Police Scotland appealed to all SPCs to consider increasing their commitment.
In just nine weeks, from March 23 to May 23, 25,656 hours of work were carried out on 2,990 shifts – more than double compared to this time last year.
Assistant Chief Constable John Hawkins said: “National Volunteers Week is a chance to say thank you to the millions of volunteers across the UK who make such a valuable contribution to their local communities.
“None are more deserving than our own SPCs who are increasing their hours on the frontline to help communities at this critical time.
“While SPCs have always been considered a vital and valued feature of policing in Scotland, it is more important than ever that their role is recognised and I would like to sincerely thank them all once again for their efforts.
“The dedication they have shown to Police Scotland and to helping our communities is nothing short of exemplary.”
In addition, more than 1,100 youth and adult Police Scotland Youth Volunteers (PSYV) have given up more than 64,000 hours of their time to assist at 1,500 events across the country.
PSVY have not been able to deploy during the pandemic, but have been supporting colleagues and other key workers from home.
ACC Hawkins added: “I also want to say a special thank you to our PSYV who are unfortunately not able to deploy at the moment – I know how frustrating it is and how keen they are to get back into volunteering.
“The ‘Clap For Carers’ videos they have been making to show their appreciation for key workers are fantastic and we have proudly posted them on our social media channels.
“The support and patience being shown is appreciated and we look forward to seeing them all again soon.”
National Volunteers Week also aims to raise awareness about the benefits of becoming a volunteer.
ACC Hawkins said that volunteers have been playing a vital role during the pandemic and they were very much appreciated.